The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Board of Directors has pulled the plug on plans for a rodeo in October, reversing the approval they originally gave to the rodeo’s organizers, Deputy Sheriff’s Association nonprofit Stars of Justice, at their June meeting. Stars of Justice had been planning the rodeo, which would be the first in the county in many years, as a fundraiser for local children. Although the Board’s decision was not based on the many pleas from animal rights activists, the protestors are still pleased with the outcome. “We are really supportive of the Stars of Justice wanting to raise money to help children,” says JP Novic, founder of the Center for Animal Protection and Education. “But we felt like the rodeo is the wrong venue because it’s inherently cruel. I hope that the Stars of Justice will look at other options for their fundraising event. There are so many wonderful, wholesome, non-cruel things they could do to raise money that don’t involve hurting animals.”
In June, Good Times brought readers the full story behind the Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project and offered everyone the opportunity to help the CAP determine their next set of community goals. Our first-ever online CAP survey garnered 321 responses, with the following goals receiving the most votes: The Santa Cruz County economy will create more living-wage jobs and keep more residents in local jobs; all children will have healthcare coverage; all high school graduates will be prepared to enter living-wage careers or higher education; more youth will be involved in prevention and positive social activities and fewer youth will enter the juvenile delinquency system; health of rivers and ocean is improved by reducing erosion, chemical and biological pollution, and improving riparian corridors; more Santa Cruz County residents will have access to housing, both rental and home ownership, that they can afford. Thanks to everyone who participated.
After 30 years of serving UCSC sexual assault victims, the program for Rape Prevention Education has been disbanded due to budget cuts. The news that Rape Prevention Education Coordinator Gillian Greensite would have a different job next year, educating about STIs, pregnancy and alcohol—all of which she has no experience teaching—came on Thursday, June 3, during a meeting with UCSC administrators. Since the program’s dissolution, Greensite has retired and a Facebook Coalition to Save UCSC Rape Prevention Education has formed in protest with 1,185 members as of press time. Nina Milliken, the group’s leader, posted the following statement to the coalition’s Facebook page: “UCSC’s Rape Prevention Education Center is a vitally important resource for the hundreds of women (and men) at UCSC who have experienced a (or many) sexual assault(s). Rape survivors, partners of rape survivors, friends of rape survivors, and family members of rape survivors will have no where to turn for good advice. We need to fight this!”
Waking up on a recent morning in Santa Cruz that was so foggy the streets had puddles, I thought about what to pack for my upcoming expedition to the driest, windiest, coldest, and most extreme continent in the world, Antarctica. What will I need? How will I survive? What’s it going to be like? Soon I’ll find out and so will you. And we’ll learn so much more. We’ll have the opportunity to observe research under the ice of Antarctica as it’s being done and to follow along as scientists try to measure and understand changes in seafloor communities. We’ll watch them SCUBA dive and use underwater robots to take pictures and videos, collect specimens, and get data. We’ll learn about the logistics of getting to remote spots on the most remote continent in the world. We’ll get the inside scoop of what it actually means to do research and what scientists are doing to understand climate change, ecology, and extreme environments.
On the night of the Fourth of July, I flew into New Orleans. I watched from above as fireworks sailed from below into the sky to celebrate Independence Day. The young man from a small Louisiana coastal town sitting next to me said "I've never seen fireworks from above." "Me neither."
"I've never been on a plane before this either," he added.
A few hours later I was back in the sky, this time flying above a different kind of fireworks. The kind that mourn our dependence. Our small Cessna traced the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi, documenting the flow of oil and tar balls onto islands, wetlands, mangroves, beaches and the inadequacy of the bright yellow and orange booms floating here and there and more often than not, beachcast and twisted by the wind and waves.
Shopping for healthcare can be a daunting process, one filled with complicated jargon, intricate ins and outs, and the looming feeling that one could be signing their life away. In the advent of health insurance reform, healthcare.gov, a comprehensive, user-friendly website was launched on July 1 to help consumers navigate the healthcare system. With more than two billion scenarios, more than 1,000 insurance carriers, and 5,500 insurance products listed in their database, consumers are presented with an easily digestible list of more healthcare options than they could have previously imagined. “This site will expand transparency, it will increase choice and it will foster competition among insurers,” says Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel). “It’s a powerful tool and we have the health insurance reform law to thank for it.” ÿ
Shopping for healthcare can be a daunting process, one filled with complicated jargon, intricate ins and outs, and the looming feeling that one could be signing their life away. In the advent of health insurance reform, Healthcare.gov, a comprehensive, user-friendly website was launched today to help consumers navigate the healthcare system. With more than two billion scenarios, over 1,000 insurance carriers, and 5,500 insurance products listed in their database, consumers are presented with an easily digestible list of more healthcare options than they could have previously imagined. “This site will expand transparency, it will increase choice and it will foster competition among insurers,” said Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel). “It’s a powerful tool and we have the health insurance reform law to thank for it.”